Cougar Cabaret presents “Quarantunes”

Standout performances and logistical challenges

Courtesy of Cougar Chorus

Courtesy of Cougar Chorus

Portia Dai, Editorial Board

Cougar Cabaret is a chance for chorus students to showcase their hard work and feature solo and duet performances. Cougar chorus has faced many challenges during quarantine, hence the theme of this year’s Cougar Cabaret, ‘Quarantunes.’ This year’s installment of the annual performance encompassed songs that were “meaningful to students and got them through this period of not being together.” While this year may have been challenging logistically, it was still an amazing opportunity for students and teachers to get together and support each other through music.

One of the most challenging parts of a completely online performance was that the sound quality wasn’t up to par, as the performances were hosted over Blackboard Collaborate. Molly Manhoff (12), the publicity manager of Choir Council, noted that “[the platform] is not really meant for singing and the mic competes for whatever’s louder, whether it’s the track or the voice [of the singer].” Chorus director, Ms. Powell echoes this, saying that “it was difficult to get sound across and get the full technical effects.”

Despite these challenges, students have still managed to make the most of the situation. Julia Stein (11), the outreach manager for Choir Council, says that while “it was hard to get energy from the audience,” students still found ways to support each other, and she was able to interact with people she normally wouldn’t have been able to such as freshman and people she knew, but hadn’t had a chance to talk to before. One thing she’s taken away from the experience is that she’s really grateful for audiences and the circle of energy between the performer and their audience. Manhoff and Ms. Powell share the sentiment that the arts and music will always be here even when we’re separated, and we’re together through music.

As a last note, Ms. Powell wants to say thank you to Ms. Lane and those who continue to support the chorus department and students in their music through this difficult time.

Julia Stein’s performance of “Crossing a Bridge” from Anastasia:

A clip of Cougar Cabaret, courtesy of Molly Manhoff: